Drawn Mochi Volume 2 Chapter 9: Sword and Jewel *4

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 “…Then for the time being should I kill you?” he said, and for a moment I didn’t know what he was talking about.


 But when the shopkeeper pulled out a knife from under the counter… I knew it was a bad idea.


 The knife the shopkeeper took was thrown at me.


 I hurriedly dodged it, and this time, suddenly, something sharp and shiny came out of the right edge of my field of vision. I dodged it almost as if it were a reflex.


 I dodged it, and got out of the trajectory, but when I managed to turn around and look back… I saw that a sharp shiny object was about to be launched at me once again.


 That thing that shines sharply is probably a knife. The second knife came.


 And the one aiming at me with the second knife was another customer, who was in the store. No, it wasn’t a customer, it was someone related to the customer. He seemed to know the guy in the store originally.



“You’re out of luck, boy!” (Man)



 I managed to roll on the floor to avoid the knife that was coming at me. I was lucky. The knife aimed at me went to the floor.



“You failed to finish him.” (Shopkeeper)


“What? He’s not going to get away with it anyway. Let’s take our time.” (Man)


“Tsk. Come on. Next time, don’t miss.” (Shopkeeper)



 I was praying in my heart they miss the next time, but I was thinking that even if I prayed, they would probably hit me sooner or later. …I managed to stand up and brace myself.


 I don’t know what’s going on. I walked into a pawnshop-like store and was instantly going to be killed.


 And then…



“Even so… it’s surprising that our nemesis or his companion came to be killed has a lot of money.” (Man)



 The people in the store laugh as they say that.


 …I wonder what this all means.



 First of all, one of the reasons they are after me right now is money.


 Yes, I was definitely holding a bag of money. Was I being careless?


 But more than the money, I think I’m being almost killed now because I came to buy that sword.


 The reaction of the people at the shop also became strange when they found out that I had come to buy the sword. So maybe that’s what it is.


 …These people said, “our nemesis or his friend”. Does that mean that the “people who come to buy this sword” are their nemesis? Then Laocles, who was staring at that sword…



 I didn’t have time to think about it. Another knife coming soon. I lower my posture and run immediately, dodging the knife thrown by the shopkeeper and heading for the store door. However, before I reached the door, another person, who was a customer, stands in my way. I had to avoid the ax-like thing that person was wielding, so I couldn’t get close to the door.


 In the meantime, the other customer locks the door from the inside and approaches with a knife. The knife came from somewhere and broke a pot that was lying around. The sound of pottery breaking echoes through the room.


 Then an axe swung down, and I hurriedly avoided it. Then one of the shelves in the store breaks and there is another terrible noise.


 …While I was running around like that, I was completely cornered.


 The store wasn’t that big, to begin with. There is no escape.


 …This looks bad.



“…It looks like you people aren’t just killing me because you want money.” (Tougo)



 When I said this, both the shopkeeper and the customers laughed.



“Money? I want money. Any amount. How much is it boy? (Shopkeeper)



 After saying that… the shopkeeper continued.



“But yes. If it was only money, I wouldn’t have taken your life.” (Shopkeeper)



 Really. on second thoughts.



“What if I told you that I just wanted that sword because it was beautiful?” (Tougo)


“It’s too late now. It’s like saying that you have an idea when you say that.” (Shopkeeper)



 Even if you say that I’m in trouble. I have an idea, but I don’t know the details.


 Because Laocles was watching, maybe it’s just that he used a sword before he became a slave, and it made him nostalgic.


 …But. However, something about it is definitely bugging me


 If that sword is Laocles’. What if that sword had something to do with Laocles? What do you expect to find there? What would lead these people to the crazy idea of “killing anyone who shows interest in the sword”?


 Why did Laocles become a slave in the first place?



“Could it be that sword killed someone?” (Tougo)



 So, I asked.


 …the shopkeeper replied with a sly grin,



“Ah, that’s right. The sword you wanted is the sword of those who killed our very, very precious master!” (Shopkeeper)



 And then the knives and axes came at me and…


 …That’s when it happened.


 The store door rattles.


 At that sound, the people in the store flinched for a moment. …right after that.


 There was a loud bang… and the door was kicked down.



 The door was blown open. And pieces of the door. And then a piece of the wall.


 Scattering wood everywhere, and then… Laocles came in.



 Laocles and I locked eyes for a moment. And right after that, Laocles was already moving.


 First, he threw his luggage. A big hunk of cheese and a hunk of bread. The whole bag.


 The hunk of cheese hit the torso of one of the guests with such force that he fell to the ground.



“Damn, no way…!” (Shopkeeper)



 Furthermore, Laocles swung the shopping bag in his hand and punched the shopkeeper in the side of the head, who was somewhat startled. As it was, he tossed the shopping bag away, freeing one of his hands.


 Laocles then confronts one of the customers with an axe… with the ham.


 …amazing. The ham is beginning to look like a club. I think it was in the statue of Hercules, wasn’t it? There is also this kind where Hercules has a club…



 Laocles with a club of cured ham looked amazing. He caught an axe with the ham club, grabbed a customer by the chest with his left hand, and head-butted him.


 When he saw the shopkeeper getting up, he hit him with the ham this time.


 …Very. Very awesome. Laocles is very strong.


 He’s strong, and… really, really beautiful.


 I never thought moving muscles could be so beautiful. The way his arm muscles rise and fall when he swings his arms. The way his body moves to avoid a flying knife. The tension in the muscles, the sense of dynamism that is absolutely impossible in a mere sculpture.


 …No, I know it’s not the time to gawk. But the way Laocles fought was so one-sided that I just had to watch, and suddenly the fight was over.



 Looking down at the three on the floor, Laocles let out a small sigh.


 Then he looked at me… glanced awkwardly at me, turned away… and reached out his hand to me.


 I cowered, but there was no shock that my body had expected, just a plop and Laocles’ hand on top of my head.


 Then, awkwardly and clumsily, his hand moved.



“……I troubled you.” (Laocles)


“Huh?” (Tougo)



 Laocles said something I didn’t understand, then picked up the shopping bags, cheese, and bread he had been tossing around and tried to leave the store.


 Trouble… The store? Well, sure, the door was broken, the shelves were broken, and the merchandise was rather broken. But maybe that’s not what Laocles meant…



“…do you think you caused trouble for me?” (Tougo)



 When I hesitantly asked, Laocles stopped and then said only a small, “Yes.”



“Um, I was the one who caused trouble. I went out on my own and things got weird. I’m sorry.” (Tougo)



 I immediately went after Laocles and apologized to him.


 I had caused him trouble. I had taken the liberty of finding a focus of his thoughts, and I had gone to get it. I didn’t even check if he wanted me to… I’m sorry about that.


 When I apologize, Laocles makes an awkward face again. Like, he doesn’t know what to say, or he doesn’t know how to say it.



“You… You saw me looking at that sword, didn’t you?” (Laocles)


“Yes.” (Tougo)


“That’s why you moved. I know that. Then it’s like I’m the one who dragged you into this.” (Laocles)


“Uh-no… I should have asked you if I could go buy that sword. I shouldn’t have been afraid to ask.” (Tougo)



 Somehow, I felt like I shouldn’t have asked. I had a feeling that Laocles was going to say something, and yet I was sure he would not say it to me. Still, I wanted to fulfill what he had in mind, even if he didn’t say it.


 Perhaps I was impertinent. That’s all.



“…For now, let’s go back. That noble is probably lost.” (Laocles)



 Ah, come to think of it, I gave Fay some trouble, too. I see, he’s on his way…





 Then I was about to follow Laocles out of the store when …… I remembered.


 Why did I come to this store in the first place?



“Um, Laocles.” (Tougo)



 I’ll listen properly this time, to his intentions. I’m not going to measure it on my own. So that I don’t get scared on my own.



 …But I couldn’t say anything beyond that.


 I thought I heard a strange sound… and in the corner of a deserted store, in the hands of a fallen shopkeeper, something black was wriggling.


 As soon as I thought that was it.



 There was a terrible sound. The ground shook. Heavy sounds of something breaking, many, many, many sounds echoed.



 …and then.



“That looks bad.” (Tougo)




 A very, very black, irregularly shaped ghost-like thing that looked like it was made from the darkness of the night broke through the ceiling and looked down on us quietly with its large body.



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